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  #11  
Old 06-21-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livia View Post
I had my first single-handing experience a few weeks ago. Not much to say other than what you might expect, it was extremely empowering. I started sailing about 3 years ago with a basic keelboat course on a reservoir in Colorado and we've been the proud owners of a Wauquiez Pretorien for just over 2 years.
Congratulations, Livia.

I will always remember my first single handing sail.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2009
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I am so proud of you in your quest to single hand your boat. Congratulation!
Docking is scary at best and downright heart attack at worse for every sailor. To make docking as uneventful as possible I do a few things first.
First I set up my docklines whether on the dock or on the boat so I can easily get to them. I also color code my docklines. Since the springline is the most important both of mine are RED. That way there is no miscommunication with any helpers as to which line to grab first. My bow lines are gold and stern lines are white. This helps with anyone not familiar with boat terminology. I cannot tell you how important this color code helps out to prevent miscommunication with the end result in getting the right line in the right place. Always put the springline first. Learn how to spring your boat into the dock.
Second is to plan on every docking situation. I break it down into four phases; initial approach, turn into the slip, once in the slip and escape plan if the plan isn't working. All docking situations have to take into account the slip/dock environment, wind, current, freeboard of the boat, turning capabilities of the boat, prop walk, and what is the boat going to do once the boat stops. If the docking situation is new and/or going to be difficult due to any of the above, I had a dry board where I draw out all three phases to give a clear idea of what I need to do during each phase of docking. This helps me for two reasons. One is I have thoroughly though out the process and wrote it down. I draw the docking environment, with wind direction along with the current direction. Writing down the plan than helps because as the docking process starts, anxiety takes over and tunnel vision with thought process can start. Looking at the plan brings me back to what I need to be doing when I get overwhelmed. In addition, with crew members everyone has a clear idea of how the docking is going to take place and what their duties are.
I cannot emphasis how important it is to know how your boat handles under power. Power exercises is so important to do like MOB drills. Here is my power drills.
Spinning the boat both starboard and port. Know how to spin your boat within its own length or shortest distance. Prop walk can be your best friend here. By giving bust of throttle in forward and reverse one can usually turn the boat within it own length.
Backing your boat. Start with S-turns both to right and left doing each at least 300 feet. Do them also starting in different wind and current angles. I practice using my docking orientation taking into account wind and current. I know how the boat will handle exactly now.
Do circles backwards with your boat to port and starboard.
Final drill is starting from a standstill from 4 different directions (90 degrees) using wind direction as the starting point. Notice how the boat drifts, how much room it takes to get boat moving into the direction going with the wind and against. This shows how the boat will behave in tight quarters.
Hope this helps.
As always plans are made to be broken. Be flexible and adjust accordingly.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2009
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Melissa: those sound like some really good drills to practice. I think we'll set aside a day to try some of them out.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2009
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Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
I would like to exercise my Fifth Amendment rights here.

...

I feel like I rewarded her with a quantity of praise proportional in magnitude and sincerity to the degree of success she produced (which is what I would expect from my own instructor). Was that not the right approach?
HA!

Certainly I wouldn't advocate praise not in magnitude for success, but to keep in mind that there are two possible successes here: the technical aspects of docking and the trying of something that is scary/new/difficult that the person may have screwed up royally before.

I think a hug and smile at least are warranted if the person helming (or whatever) is persevering in the face of previous failure at something they find scary/new/difficult. You don't have to tell them they docked perfectly if they didn't...but you can be really proud of them for continuing to go for it.
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Last edited by Livia; 06-24-2009 at 04:15 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2009
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Thanks Melissa! I love the idea of colored dock lines. Brilliant. We use the 4 normal lines but also run a line from our winch which the deck monkey cleats off first to a cleat aft of the stern and then we use power to push into that line and bring the beam against the dock. Then, all other lines can be cleated at our leisure. The other lines are, of course, also ready on the lifelines if we need them for any other contingency. Drawing it out is something I'm going to borrow if I have new/different crew.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livia View Post
We use the 4 normal lines but also run a line from our winch which the deck monkey cleats off first to a cleat aft of the stern and then we use power to push into that line and bring the beam against the dock. .
I take it you don't have a midship cleat?
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
I take it you don't have a midship cleat?
Alas, no. For an otherwise superbly designed boat, it is an odd thing to not have. We could always put one in but we don't plan on being marina-folk as much after next year.
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  #18  
Old 06-25-2009
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
I'd recommend adding one in any case, since they're very useful for rafting up and many other things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Livia View Post
Alas, no. For an otherwise superbly designed boat, it is an odd thing to not have. We could always put one in but we don't plan on being marina-folk as much after next year.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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  #19  
Old 06-25-2009
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For me;
First solo in Cherub (12' dinghy) out of river into Bay. Age 12.

First yacht - 30' - into bay in good breeze.

Now I go a little further.

Neither of us wish now to go solo - we want the other one to be there for the nice times/ things to share etc. However, I think its necessary for each of us to be able to handle the boat solo.

Yada Yada - just do it if you want to!!

Last edited by St Anna; 06-25-2009 at 10:19 AM.
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